Nice Games Club - a gamedev podcast!

Ellen, Stephen, and Mark

The podcast where nice gamedevs talk gaming and game development. Nice! read less
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Episodes

Nice Games Jam: "Pothole Run" [Nice Replay]
15-02-2024
Nice Games Jam: "Pothole Run" [Nice Replay]
#301Pothole RunNice Games Jam2023.04.21According to Minnesota Public Radio, it's hot girl sinkhole spring. In other words, we have an insane number of potholes right now in the Twin Cities, and since we can't do anything other than wait for the hardworking folks of road repair to fix them, we made a game about the whole situation. Andy and Beth Korth join for this special Nice Games Jam!GLOM preorder through Miniature MarketGLOM preorder through GameNerdz✨hot girl sinkhole spring✨ - Minnesota Public RadioUptown washout leaves 8-foot-deep sinkhole in Minneapolis intersection - Tim Nelson and Kerem Yücel, Minnesota Public RadioThe Korths are back! They were first on episode #002Steam GreenlightEpisode #102 with Beth & AndyCode Comment: "Verdant Skies"Episode #204 with Beth & AndyFamilies in GamesEpisode #132 with Beth Narrative Design An example of the pothole + sinkhole situation we're dealing with this spring.Another view of the school bus sinkhole.PromptEllen gave us a prompt: "Create a game about patching potholes that Gabe would have fun playing"Game typeTabletop gameMaterialsMarblesPlay-Doh or alternative squishynessA very complicated custom game boardRoad tiles of various sizes and configurationsSetupSet up the custom game boardDistribute marbles to all playersDistribute Play-Doh to all playersDistribute road / terrain tiles to all playersDetermine who will be the first player per the rules belowRulesIn a nutshell, the game challenges players to roll marbles down a hill. The hill is made of road tiles, but some of the tiles are pitted with potholes. Players can use Playdoh to patch potholes in the road so the marbles will make it to the finish.The board is a grid laid over a raised pyramid where players put down terrain. Everything starts in the center (city hall); that’s where you put the marbles so they roll down the hill. Each quadrant is a side of the pyramid, there’s some method of tiling for the player to put pieces down to determine how the marbles will travel in that area.Turn orderPlay starts with the player who most recently hit a pothole with their car or their bike. In case of a tie (as might happen if multiple players were in a car together), the younger player goes first.Play then proceeds clockwise.Players can take 3 actions on their turn. You can do the same action more than once. The actions are:Rotate the boardPlace or swap a tilePatch a potholeDrop a marbleTilesEach tile is worth 1, 2 or 3 victory points when marbles pass through. The rougher the tile, the more victory points it's worth.Players also get a bit of Play-Doh to fill up potholes in the terrain.Players have 5 tiles in their hand at any given time; as an action, they can play one, then draw back up to 5 tiles.Rotating the boardRotating the board happens towards the left (counterclockwise), the opposite of play order, which goes to the right (clockwise). Each rotation turns the board 90 degrees.Scoring & dropping marblesIf a marble reaches the bottom of the hill in front of you, you get the victory points that it acquired from each tile it moved through on its journey from the top of the hill to the bottom.You ONLY get the victory points if the marble reaches the bottom of the hill. If you drop a marble as an action, and the marble gets stuck on the way, you don't get any points from the tiles it passed through.Winning the gamePlay proceeds in 12 rounds. Each player gets one turn per round.Play ends when the turn counter reaches zero (game starts at the start of winter, ends at the start of the next winter)Whoever has acquired the most victory points by the end of the "year" is the winner of Pothole RunFun stuff to think about for the futureWe have to create an extractor to get the playdoh out.Cooperative play mode? Roles for each player? Someone who’s better at filling potholes, someone who can put more marbles down, etc. Maybe two teams?
Nice Games Jam: "Cat Time" [Nice Replay]
25-01-2024
Nice Games Jam: "Cat Time" [Nice Replay]
#321Cat TimeNice Games Jam2023.09.07It's been a while but your nice hosts come up with a game in roughly an hour, this one for the cat owners out there! After a fairly long meta, we get into the mind of a cat and design a competitive game for them to play.Toronto International Film FestivalRenew an adult passport - USA.govBloor–Yonge station - WikipediaPromptCreate a game my mother can (and wants to) play with her cats, with the supply list below. Bonus points if this can be played a single cat or multiple cats at the same time, for optimum usefulness in listener households with single catsGame typeDesign documentPlayer count2MaterialsAt least two catsA cat toy shaped like a die with a treat insideList of activities the die points toSetupPick an end date for when the game stops (can be arbitrary).RulesGive the cats the cat toy shaped like a die, they will roll the die and leave it eventually, and this determines the next activity for the human to set up. Once the die decides what the next activity is, the human sets it up based on a chart. Once the task is completed and cats are awarded points, repeat the die roll and do the next activity until the end date (since remember, you're on Cat Time so the amount of activities you do depends on your cats). The winner is the cat with the most points by the end!Examples of tasks (there would be at least 20):Cat task: One cat at a time for this challenge. Put something on top of the cat’s head and start the stopwatch. Whichever cat keeps the object on their head the longest gets X points.Cat task: Make a loud meowing sound. Whichever cat looks at you first gets X points.Human task: Award the cat who has been the best sport X points.Cat task: Hold both cats in your hands. Whichever cat jumps off first LOSES. Winner gets X points.Cat task: Place a ring of non-breakable objects (probably cat toys) around the edge of a table so that the tabletop is fully circled by objects. Place both cats, the task ends when both cats are off the table. Each cat gets a number of points equal to a multiplier of the number of objects that were knocked off the table.Cat task: Put the same number of treats in each hand. Call both cats over for them to snack from your hands. Whichever cat finishes their treats first is the winner and gets X points.Human task: Pick the cat that you feel the most sorry for and award them X points.Human task: Pick the cat that currently looks the sleepiest and sit them out for the next challenge.
Nicest of 2023
21-12-2023
Nicest of 2023
The clubhouse continues the annual tradition of reviewing the past year. But first they need to talk about Doctor Who and new Minnesota state flag. Ellen makes her first programming joke, and Dale learns to add comments from the editing booth.Finally, everyone shares which games they have been playing the bees out of in 2023.But, wait... there's more: your nice hosts also talk about what they are anticipating for 2024. Doctor WhoDonna Noble is the best companion - WikipediaCucumber, a miniseries by Russell T Davies - WikipediaIt's a Sin, a miniseries by Russell T DaviesMinnesota State FlagThe new Minnesota state flag - Briana Bierschbach, Star Tribune0:10:30Our accomplishmentsMark's Accomplishments:GlomDogpile!IGDA Twin Cities Calendar full of eventsIGDA Twin Cities's Playtest EventMaintenance of Noble EngineMajor Accomplishments in Dreamsettler including securing a big third party developer for a minigameStephen's Accomplishments:GlomFuture Club got funding to produce a vertical slice of a gameWorking on Future Club projects and pitching them (to a celebrity!)Survived a snake basement  Ellen's Accomplishments:GlomTWO custom game projects that Ellen is not allowed to talk aboutNoodle Training ArcadeSerious Play ConferenceGot a road bikeMoved to DuluthYour nice hosts talked about thier work as a tabletop development team in:The Nice Board Game Industrial Complex, a Nice Games Club Skunkworks ProjectMark gave a short presentation at the IGDATC holiday party about all the work that the group did in 2023.Ellen talks about her experience at the serious play conference in:Serious Play Conference SpecialMark talked about Noble Engine in:"So, you made a game engine?"0:29:11Nicest of 2023Ellen's Nicest:Baldur's Gate IIIKirby and the Forgotten LandNY Times Games App Magic the GatheringRival Stars Horse RacingGames from the Studio 'Afterburn'Mark's Nicest:Super Mario WonderSuper Nintendo WorldStar Trek: ResurgenceZachtronics Solitaire CollectionPuzzmoMark's Honorable Mentions:Spider Man 2Tears of the KingdomStar Trek: InfiniteStephen's Nicest:Spirit IslandForspokenDeceive, Inc.Stephen's Honorable Mentions:Tears of the Kingdom's Ascend abilityBaldur's Gate IIIMark mentioned what he usually calls "Super Mario Theme Park," which we talk about more in:GDC 2023 SpecialWe interviewed Zach of Zachtronic's Solitaire collection in Episode 293The Logistics of Moving OnPuzzmo is now publicly available!1:01:08Most Anticpated of 2024Ellen's picks:Hellblade II: Henua's SagaUltrosHyper Light BreakerLittle Kitty, Big CityDustbornConcordMark's picks:Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door remakePrincess Peach: Showtime!More Playdate games!Stephen's picks:Dragon's Dogma 21:16:132024 Gamedev ResolutionsEllen's Resolutions:Make stuffMake stuff in Godot EngineMake a portfolioDo less work, make more stuffUnpack some boxesMark's ResolutionsGet Dreamsettler outSet up future for Noble Robot officeSet up console SDK environments again for DS and others (Metro Nexus, porting work).Stephen's ResolutionsLook into game engines other than Unity
Nice Games Jam: "The Loft"
08-12-2023
Nice Games Jam: "The Loft"
This week, the clubhouse becomes the birdhouse; we're talking pigeons! Dale created a prompt inspired by Ellen's activities as a child and she bombards your nice hosts with a TON of pigeon facts! We somehow designed a game out of it!As a note, Ellen's was still recording remotely but the first 5 minutes she was recording on the wrong mic! We corrected it after those 5 minutes. Breeds of Pigeons across the Globe. - Layne Gardner, The American Pigeon Museum and LibraryRacing Pigeon Training 25 mile - Hoosier Outdoors, YouTubeRacing Pigeons VS. Falcon (Pt.1) - "One Wing" - @Pigeonmaniacom, YouTubeAmazing video of a hawk chasing a homing pigeon -  Their own world, YouTubeA Rare Appreciation of the New York Pigeon - Alexandra Wolfe, The Wall Street JournalEllen's pictures of pigeons she posted in the Miro boardPromptCreate a game where you breed and raise pigeonsGame typeDesign documentSetupNone yet! It's a game design doc.RulesControl a group of pigeonsReal time strategy racing gameManage each bird by going to each bird, checking statuses and causing communication so pigeons can help each other get to the goalPlayers can give stats bonuses to each individual birdYou as the player don’t know where the pigeons are going, you have to figure out where the pigeons’ goal isCan be multiplayerSwapping between each pigeon gives you information about that pigeons’ statusPlayers have a very vague idea of where to go at the startWhen a predator appears, the player needs to outsmart the predator to escape and keep racingThen the player is off course and needs to find their way backSome races can be longer, where you need to find a place to rest for the night and have enough foodGame loopYou get a random selection of pigeonsCompete in a raceStart in a random place on the mapPigeons know where they need to go but the player does notPlayers need to deduce where the pigeons are going and make sure to lead all of them in the right directionPlayers control each pigeon individually, moving a pigeon will influence the other pigeons but will not move fully in that direction. Players need to guide each pigeon to their goal as a group, but control them individually.Control of pigeons is in third-person perspective, players need to jump between pigeons to see the whole view of the flockThere are areas on the map that the player will know about that can have more risk involved (like areas where predators will often be)There can be some collectables around that the player can pick up with birds to get bonuses (more points? movespeed?)When you complete the race, you can remove a pigeon from the racing group and add a new pigeon from a set of 3 randomly generated pigeons